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How to Set Yourself Up For Career Success

So you landed the new gig! Congrats! The offer is signed, the on-boarding date is set and you are ready to set yourself up for ultimate career success!

It doesn’t matter what industry are in – or entry level vs senior level – the following tips will set you up for a win in any role you are about to take on. And, while these five tips should get you started, just remember that the rest is up to you! Are you ready?

1) Meet & Greet Your Team

Ok, so first things first. The best way to kick off a successful career is to get to know who you’ll be hanging out with everyday. 

Sure, you’ve met the hiring manager or maybe even the owner of the business you are soon to be supporting, but now it’s time to meet the rest of the team! 

However, this shouldn’t be just any meet and greet. This is your opportunity to truly explore the entire ecosystem of your team and understand the role each individual plays.   

Not only will this give you a better idea of who to go to when you have a questions, your co-workers are likely to appreciate that you took the time to better understand their daily responsibilities. 

how to set yourself up for career success Here are some basic questions to get you started:

  • How long have you worked here?
  • What are you responsible for within your role?
  • What does your day-to-day look like?
  • Is there something you love about working for this company?
  • How can I help make your job easier?

Once you have a pretty solid grasp on who does what, and why, you can then move onto getting to know the new coworkers on a more personal level.

Related: How to get Hired Quickly

2) Career Success with Time Management Skills

While not every job will lend itself to the same level of required workflows, meetings and required deadlines, there are some pretty basic places to start that should help you feel prepared in any new role:

Start at home

  • Add your work start time/end time in your phone calendar and set an alert for at least two hours before you need to be there.
    • Now you have a built-in back up alarm in case you forget to set your regular one or it just doesn’t go off…which happens.
  • Add pay dates in as well – this is especially useful if you are in a position where you need to submit hours on a regular basis.
  • Make sure you have enough clothing for a solid work week so that you never have to worry about searching for clean clothes in the morning.
  • Pack lunch/set out breakfast items the night before to make your get-out-the-door routine run like clockwork.

Basically, anything you can do to reduce having to make decisions or search for missing items on your way out the door, the less stressed you will be as you get ready to start your work day. 

Get yourself in the flow at work

Once you are in the office or logged on for the day, it’s important to get yourself into flow.

Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Create a morning routine that puts you in a positive mood and helps you maximize an efficient workflow (for example – save your delicious thermos of coffee for when you are settled at your desk responding to emails or assessing your task list for the day).
  • Set timers to go off at least once every hour or so to remind you to stand up, take a quick stretch and give yourself a few minutes of mental rest.
  • Write down any tasks or assignments you receive immediately so they don’t skip through the cracks.
  • Ideally, spend the last 15 minutes of the day categorizing/labeling/flagging any unanswered emails, creating alerts and setting reminders for any time sensitive requests. 

When you learn to manage your workload and increase productivity levels, you take a lot of burden off your manager, are a stronger team player, and are ultimately setting yourself up for career success! 

3) Establish Ownership within your Career

One area that you can really maximize career success is approaching your role with a sense of personal ownership.

Anyone can be an employee
many can be a good employee,
but few set out to treat their role as if they owned the company.

Approaching your job as if you were representing the brand as your own will set you apart from your colleagues and showcase your commitment to excellence.  

This is NOT the same as being a “yes man/woman.”

It is often the case that good workers get taken advantage of – or simply taken for granted. However, the idea is to be so efficient with your work that you are in a position to set boundaries on your time and task load.  

It looks like putting in 100% when you are doing your job.

reach financial success onlineAvoid the temptation to:

  • check your phone constantly,
  • browse social media sites (even if that is literally your job – stay off your own profile!),
  • chat with your co-workers beyond occasional breaks
  • not have a workflow system (being disorganized and allowing projects to take longer than they should). 

The idea is to show up to work with the intention of actually working. You will find that your motivation and endurance levels will increase as you retrain yourself to avoid these seemingly insignificant distractions.  

4) Create Value within Your Role

One of the best ways to enjoy career success is to create value within your current role. 

From waiting tables, to landscaping, to banking, to leadership roles – there is only one you. Whatever you were hired to do, ONLY you can bring your own personal touch to that role. 

The best way to approach this is to first master the tasks that are expected of you.

It’s important that you establish your competence and credibility and earn trust from your team before bringing additional ideas to the table.

As you work, pay attention to the details.

Takes notes on the following:

  • could there be a more efficient way to approach the tasks I am doing?
  • how can I create a better workflow and streamline repetitive tasks?
  • if I free up some time, how can I better support my team?
  • how can I find ways to save the company money?

It is your previous experience, specific personality and innate strengths that create value within any role.

The more you apply yourself within your chosen career, the more excited you will be to…

  • show up everyday, and to 
  • create new opportunities of growth for your organization. 

Now that you know how to get started adding value, let’s consider how that can help you grow your role for ultimate career success!

make thousands of dollars online5) Envision How Your Career Can Grow

While, of course, you still need to be a master of your craft within your current position, you now have a front row seat to the areas that need a bit more support within your given organization. 

Here are some practical scenarios that may help you better pinpoint opportunity:

1. Say you work for a small business in a service-based industry. You notice they are really missing out on marketing opportunities via social media.

You can offer to set up an account for them and manage it for, let’s say, a month. Tell them you are happy to help get the ball rolling and have them try it out. However, make it clear from the beginning that after the agreed upon time is up, you’d like to revisit this as becoming an additional paid responsibility. 

2. Perhaps you are in a role working in retail or customer service. You are seeing and hearing all the pain points customers are experiencing. You know you have a solid idea on how to improve the process and reduce customer aggravation.

Here is what you can do:

  • Create a proposal for a new workflow system.
  • Make projections on how the new system will increase efficiency/reduce costs.
  • Showcase how it will ultimately enhance the brand image.
  • Outline a full job description highlighting the opportunity for a brand-new role.
  • Calculate your projected salary into the overall cost to be sure you are accurately reflecting the total savings. 

Envision Your Career From Your Role

There are many ways to grow within your current role, and these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Always be on the lookout for opportunities and be willing to take on tasks others may not want to do.

And even if your current organization doesn’t end up appreciating your efforts, you’ll know that you went above and beyond, pushed yourself to take on new challenges and be ready to bring that level of passion to your next opportunity!

What else would you add to this list to set you up for career success? What have you done to grow your current role? 

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AUTHOR Kerah Kemmerer

Hello! I'm Kerah. I'm a writer and personal finance enthusiast with a background in marketing. I'm also a wedding and portrait photographer, part-time RVer and a lover of simple and minimal living. Always up to some project or adventure over @krisandkerah on Instagram.

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